Having never been pregnant before, I decided on a super lofty fitness goal while I was pregnant. I thought (naively) that I’d be able to lose all the baby weight and get back into pre-pregnancy shape by 10 weeks postpartum (or my birthday). Ha! I was wrong to say the least. Hormones wreak havoc on the body. There is so much that changes in the body during pregnancy and it takes awhile for you to start feeling “normal” again.
This really can sometimes take up to a year postpartum. Not to mention the lack of sleep, the learning curve of trying to care for a newborn, and not being able to find time to shower, let alone get out of the house for a fitness class.
It was definitely an uphill battle to see my body start to change. I spent countless hours researching postnatal fitness, breastfeeding nutrition, and how to get back to that fitness level I enjoyed without a second thought prior to my pregnancy. Although well intended, much of the exercise information I found on the Internet was risky for a postnatal women due to the weakness of the core and postural integrity of their pelvic complex. I knew this because of my extensive education and experience in the fitness industry. But I knew that other new moms, just like me, had the same postpartum fitness issues without the background to safely retrain their body after pregnancy.
This is why I developed my comprehensive postnatal fitness program. I spent countless hours researching and designing the program based on physical therapy principles and implemented through yoga and barre exercises. I did this exact program myself and was able to regain and even improve the strength of my core.
The best part is that my program is not only offered via in-home individual training and group classes in Philadelphia, but also online via 30-minute videos. This online format grew out of my experience with trying to get out of the house for fitness classes. I’d be all excited in the morning about this evening class I was going to attend. Then evening would come and I’d have one of the following issues: too tired, not enough pumped milk, or my son was not falling asleep as planned. Being able to workout on my time was so important to me during this time.
I could wake up early, I could do it during my son’s naptime, or I could workout late at night after he finally fell asleep (even if it wasn’t as planned). Making time for exercise was about way more than just getting my body back in shape. It helped me to emotionally reconnect with my sense of self.
My online programs are designed in both a 6-week and a 12-week package. The 6-week program includes postnatal yoga stretches to lengthen the chronically tightened muscles after pregnancy as well as core strengthening physical therapy techniques to safely begin to strengthen the core and pelvic floor muscles. The 12-week program progresses into barre strengthening exercises and more intense, yet safe, core exercises to improve core and pelvic floor strength. You can check out both programs at www.y2bfit.com.
What I can tell you now, 15 months postpartum, is that the weight does come off and you can definitely have your pre-baby body back or an even stronger body. You’ll hit a bunch of plateaus along the way, you’ll feel like the journey is never-ending, you’ll curse those sweets and fries you ate while pregnant, you’ll work out harder, you’ll take breaks. Some days you’ll weigh more and other days you’ll have dropped 3 pounds over night. I swear a lot of it is water weight, hormone fluctuations, and your body going back to “normal.”
Remember, you just GREW and birthed another human. That’s like running a marathon without any training. Don’t be so hard on yourself! I can tell you that getting enough sleep, proper exercise techniques, and food choices are most important during this period of time. Combining my postnatal fitness program with 3-5 days of cardio like walking or stair climbing will help you to reach your optimal postnatal fitness goals in the quickest amount of time.
If you have any questions regarding postnatal fitness you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to help you.
About Y2B Fit
Founded by Crystal Widmann, Y2B Fit offers a comprehensive postnatal fitness program that includes yoga, barre, and fitness instruction that is available via online video, virtual studio, or private in-home session.